Viewpoints: Innocent Children Do Not Belong In Traumatizing Jails Or Detention Centers
A selection of opinions on health care developments from around the state.
Los Angeles Times:
Caging Immigrant Children Alongside Their Parents Isn’t Much Of A Solution
The nation should be thankful that President Trump finally came to his senses and ended the inhumane and traumatizing practice of separating children from their immigrant parents who illegally enter the United States. Facing an extraordinary backlash not just from Democrats but from some Republicans, every living former first lady (and, amazingly, the current one), United Nations human rights officials, Willie Nelson, Pope Francis and many, many others who reacted in dismay to scenes of children corralled in metal cages, Trump probably had little choice. But his solution — detaining entire families together while the adults face, in most cases, misdemeanor charges of illegal entry — raises enormously troubling problems of its own. (6/21)
The Mercury News:
Treatment Programs For Homeless Youth Need Oversight
Two days a week, my team and I from Stanford Children’s Hospital deliver health care to underserved kids from a mobile clinic. This was how we met Mary (not her real name), a homeless teen girl who came in for help with depression. Like so many young people who call cars, streets or shelters their home, Mary’s health was a complicated knot of mental health conditions, substance abuse, risky sexual behavior and the effects of life on the streets. Cases like Mary’s illustrate the complexity of treating young people with addiction. They also illustrate what is at stake as California, soon to be flush with new cash from the state’s marijuana tax, ramps up substance abuse programs for adolescents. Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, is the author of SB 275, which puts in place sorely needed standards and oversight to ensure that hundreds of millions of dollars targeted for youth treatment over the next few years are well-spent. (Dr. Seth Ammerman, 6/21)
California: Students Get Shot Outside School Too
The nation is understandably shocked by recent mass shootings at schools and wants something done – if anyone could figure out what that is. What’s harder for the public to realize is that the number of students shot at school represents less than 5 percent of the more than 17,000 who are killed or injured every year in gun violence in the United States, whether that means being shot by others or committing suicide. (Karin Klein, 6/19)
Los Angeles Times:
The Latest Trump Healthcare Fix Is Better Than Most. But That Doesn't Mean It's Good
The Trump administration on Tuesday released the details of its latest effort to cut some Americans’ insurance premiums — and undermine Obamacare in the process. The surprise is that, unlike every other initiative from this crew, it may well help some people obtain real coverage at a lower price. What’s not surprising is that the move will make the state Obamacare exchanges more expensive and less stable than they are today. (Jon Healey, 6/19)
San Diego Union-Times:
Seniors Will Lose Out With Trump's Drug Plan. Here's How.
Every businessperson understands the “art of the deal” has little to do with art and everything to do with leverage. But as we discovered when President Donald Trump released his long-promised plan to lower drug prices, the business of politics often trumps real-world business principles. Nowhere in the ironically titled “American Patients First” blueprint is there any requirement for Medicare to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers. So, despite all of Trump’s rhetoric and promises, pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyists won, and seniors lost. Patients are not the first priority after all. (Gary West, 6/15)
Why Should California Lag Behind On Protecting Workers From Dangerous Lead?
It created a national scandal when residents of Flint, Michigan, had to drink and bathe in water badly tainted with lead. Closer to home, the city of Sacramento’s Mangan Park gun range made headlines when it was revealed that it was loaded, both inside and out, with extremely high levels of dangerous lead dust – and that the California Department of Public Health knew about lead-poisoned workers for years without acting. (Bill Allayaud and Joe Rubin, 6/19)
Studies Make Clear What We Already Know -- Time For A Med School At UC Merced
In a time when people across the state are discussing the need for universal healthcare coverage, we cannot overlook the fact that in parts of the state having a health insurance card does not mean that you get to see a doctor. Too many people in Merced County still go to emergency rooms for needs that could be managed by primary care physicians, if only they could find one who is accepting new patients. (Gray, 6/20)
Los Angeles Times:
Coffee Isn't Going To Kill Anyone. California Needs A Smarter System To Let Us Know What's Dangerous
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu M. Berle ruled in March that coffee should carry the warning labels mandated by California’s Proposition 65 because the brew contains acrylamide, a chemical that some studies found increases the incidence of cancer in rats. It was an unfortunate outcome of a ridiculous lawsuit by an opportunistic attorney that never should have been filed. Acrylamide is a naturally occurring chemical formed when coffee is roasted (and when starchy foods such as potatoes are cooked at high heat). But the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, which reviewed 1,000 studies, reported last week that there is just no proof that coffee causes cancer. Furthermore, there’s a wealth of scientific data indicating that coffee consumption has health benefits and may even ward off premature death, perhaps because of the other chemicals present in the average cup of joe. (6/18)
Why Raw Milk Is Dangerous And Needs To Be Regulated
Rates of serious illness from drinking “raw” or unpasteurized milk products are increasing. They need to be more strictly regulated. As a pediatrician at a Sacramento area hospital, I have seen the cost to families. An adorable 2-year-old boy with bright blue eyes was hospitalized for weeks, with a dialysis catheter coming out of his chest, after his kidneys failed from E coli. His parents tried their best to keep his spirits up, but the situation became traumatic for him. Sometimes kids’ kidneys do not recover. Sometimes they require a renal transplant. (Vidhi Jhaveri, 6/14)
Los Angeles Times:
Proposed Needle Exchange Program Is A Poor Fit For Costa Mesa Neighborhood
Under California law, any needle-exchange program must provide for the safe recovery and disposal of used syringes and sharps waste from all of its participants. How did this work out? By late 2017, the Santa Ana Civic Center was infested with discarded needles. (Sandra L. Genis, 6/18)
San Francisco Chronicle:
What’s Ignored In The Debate Over Aid In Dying
The controversial 2015 legalization of medical aid in dying was in effect for almost two years before it was ruled unconstitutional on May 25 by Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Ottolia. Friday’s reinstatement of the law, while the appeals process plays out, is another twist in the increasingly dramatic fight that goes to the core of what Californians want when it comes to choices at the end of life. (Jessica Nutik Zitter, 6/18)
Chemical Flame Retardants Are Toxic. It’s Time For California To Ban Them.
When furniture burns, dangerous byproducts are created that make the air even more toxic. California needs to step up and get these toxins out of our consumer products once and for all. (Brian K. Rice and Laura Deehan, 6/19)